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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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12                                      LIFE  O'F
Frederic the Great stood a glorious picture of their
•native land, and in him the reformation and glory of
Prussia were personified. The king died when tho
brothers wore on the point of leaving1 Berlin to attend
a university, and they therefore were not witncwen
of the weakness, the political, and moral diBsolution
wluch came hand in hand with the stupid rage for a
reason reformation which the successors of ISfieolai
spread over Berlin.
The brothers entered on their academical life to-
gether a& they had made the preliminary studios to-
gether. Tho university of Frankfurt on tho Odor,
which at that time enjoyed a groat and wide-spread
roptitation, was chosen for their further education, and
the cotnniencejuent of their spocial «tu<lies. In tho
year of the great king's death, in 178(>, they departed
with their tutor and' friend Kiinth, with, the hH.ot»-
tion of remaining there nearly two yearn, till tho
Easter of 1788. William devoted himself to the'ntudy
of law; but Alexander, in obedience to tho natural
tendencies which, were developing themselves with in-
creasing force, chose the study of political economy, us
it scorned to him most nearly allied to bin Hciontiiie
inclinations. Their former teacher in Berlin, I'jofflWj
who had since become professor in Frankfurt, took
the brothers, with Kunth, into his house ; and, while
they each followed their special studiow, they
ptirsued their philosophical; philological, and natural
historical studies in common, for William took HJKH
>cial interest in the latter.
The choice of the tmiversity of Frankfurt was pro-
bably tlxe mother's, who wished to keep her Bonn near
her,, and not lose sight of them HO quickly; therefore
"Kant, the celebrated philosopher of tho ago, who
lectured in Konigsborg, did not inHueneo the <th<noo
of the university with the widow of Major von Hum-
bolclt, Tho mother's real intention waB to miul Itor
«OHR to Frankfurt as a preparation for thoir future pub-
lic life, but to let them atten<l Giittingon, tho
celebrated university of that tixn^ for their final